Historic record highlights most effective targetters of the big Ayr sprints....

Last Updated: 14.09.2021

Tuesday, 14th September 2021

Historic record highlights most effective targetters of the big Ayr sprints….

This week we’ve got the Western meeting at Ayr – starting on Thursday and running through to Saturday – to keep us out of mischief….

The Ayr meeting doesn’t throw up the volume of big handicaps that Glorious Goodwood or York’s Ebor meeting provide – but there’s decent betting targets all the same….

And with the Dubai Duty Free set to be run at Newbury on Saturday – we’ve got nothing to complain about. Enough is as good as a feast….

  • A unique sprint trilogy….

The Gold Cup is the feature handicap up at Ayr this weekend. This year’s edition of what is one of Britain’s premier sprint handicaps will be run on Saturday afternoon….

But it’s not the only big-field handicap run over the 6f trip at the tracks’ 3-day Festival….

There’s also the Silver Cup on Saturday’s card and the Bonze Cup on Friday afternoon….

All three races will attract a big field – and there will be plenty of ‘live’ contenders for punters to latch onto at prices....

2017’s Western meeting got wiped out by the weather. The track was waterlogged after a week of heavy rain. That’s not likely to happen again this year with the ground at the track currently described as good to firm....

  • Taking a consolidated view….

Friday’s Bronze Cup is of obvious interest – if only as a source of advance intelligence….

If any part of the track provides an advantage to horses, that race will offer an indication ahead of Saturday’s contests....

Not that an advantage apparent on one day can always be entirely relied upon to repeat itself the next....

That’s a subject I’ll get onto in more detail tomorrow when I’ll look at how the draw has impacted editions of the three races over the last several years....

For today, it’s an interesting exercise to lump the three races together and to look at the historical dataset in consolidated form....

All three races are run over the same trip at the same meeting – with horses running in one race (which race they end up running in depends ultimately on their official mark and how each race cuts up at the overnight declaration stage) but often aimed at two or even all three events in the run up to the meeting….

It is probably the case that trainers look at the races as a specific set. And, on that basis, it might be informative as a punter to look at them that way too….

  • Yards with a track record….

Looking at the consolidated dataset certainly highlights yards with the best records of producing winners, placers, and competitive runners across the three events….

Nobody can beat Richard Fahey’s record of producing winners in the Ayr sprints. He’s produced eight since the turn of the century (two Gold Cups, three Silver & three Bronze)....

An additional 23 horses made the front five (plenty of bookies pay out on the extra places in these races). The whole return – as the table below illustrates – was produced by a total participation of 134 runners....

Richard Fahey

A place strike rate of just over 22% in races where the average field size is 20+ is a reasonable return....

Kevin Ryan has produced volume too – and clearly likes to have a crack at these contests….

Kevin Ryan

He’s saddled five winners – four coming in the Gold Cup. And he’s sent out nine additional placers. In terms of quantity – good. But the strike rate isn’t quite up to Fahey’s....

Ryan’s wins and place are the result of having 89 representatives in total since 2000. The place strike rate amounts to 15.7%....

If you’re blasting off shots left, right and centre, it stands to reason that some will hit the target. But picking out which isn’t always easy for the poor punter….

  • Squeezing most out of least….

What about trainers who aren’t so well endowed with firepower?

What about trainers who rely more on sharp-shooting prowess?

Which yards have done most with least – suggesting their runners are worth more than just a cursory glance this time around?

We already looked at Michael Dods yesterday. He’s produced a decent return from limited participants. A total representation of 38 runners this century produced a winner and 14 placers….

It’s a solid record solid – good enough to suggest Dods is in the habit of heading to Ayr with competitive horses and plenty of intent....

Michael Dods

David O’Meara’s yard isn’t exactly small. But he hasn’t had that many runners in the Ayr sprints – just 38 to date – and a return of one winner and eight placers suggests potential for more fruitfulness going forward....

David O'Meara

Mick Easterby is frugal with entries – just 19 since 2000. But they produced a win and four places....

Michael Easterby

And Tom Dascombe is developing a handsome record. His 7 participants to date produced 2 winners and 2 placers….

Tom Dascombe

You could – and some trainers have – send a few dozen runners into these races before producing a couple of winners and placers.

Has Dascombe been lucky? Possibly. Or is it all about skill and preparation? Most likely both elements have played some part. Whatever – lucky, skilful or both – Dascombe’s entries are of some interest….

  • The final word….

That’s all for today. Back tomorrow. Meanwhile….

Anything to report? Anything to say? Anything to share? Contact me at: nick.pullen@oxonpress.co.uk

Stay tuned.

Nick Pullen

Against the Crowd